Since 1983, communities and agencies across the United States have recognized April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. In 2016 U.S. President Barack Obama continued that tradition, and issued a Presidential proclamation stating: “During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.” In 2021, it’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it in the U.S. Families, children, and providers have been challenged and stretched thin while dealing with new stresses, changing schedules and lots of time at home. It’s more important than ever to raise awareness about child abuse, strengthen families, and educate children about their right to be safe.
5 Ways to Raise Awareness During Child Abuse Prevention Month
- Show your support on social media. Everyone can play a role in supporting families in order to prevent child abuse and neglect. Help raise child abuse awareness in your community by posting about Child Abuse Prevention Month on social media and by sharing relevant resources and articles.
- Learn about protective factors + how they help with child abuse prevention. A protective factors approach focuses on positive ways to engage families by emphasizing their strengths, in addition to identifying areas where they have room to grow with support. Focusing on protective factors helps children, youth, and families build resilience and contributes to positive outcomes. The Child Welfare 2021/2022 Prevention Resource Guide is packed with information and recognizes that there are actions we can take as a society and within communities, organizations, and families to address the root causes of child abuse and neglect. The child abuse prevention guide seeks to highlight the innovative ways that communities around the country are doing purposeful prevention work to help children and families thrive. It can also serve as a great inspiration for new programs in your community!
- Start a Fundraising Campaign. It’s quick and easy to create your own fundraising page! By becoming a fundraiser you can raise funds online, get others involved, and donate them to an agency in your community. Pledge your birthday, challenge your friends or coworkers to compete with you, or encourage donations to celebrate a parent or guardian that had an impact on you.
- Volunteer. Time is the best gift you can give, and there are social service agencies in your community that need your help! Volunteers provide the critical support needed for many agencies to successfully meet the needs of child abuse victims and their families. As a volunteer, you will have the chance to learn, meet others and make a difference in a young child’s life. For information about volunteer opportunities, call 1.800.CHILDREN or contact your local Prevent Child Abuse America chapter.
- Plant a Pinwheel. Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign used as a reminder of the uplifting and great childhood all children deserve. The blue and silver pinwheels are popping up all across the United States this year to educate communities on child abuse and neglect prevention. You can order pinwheels online or find instructions on how to make your own at home here.
When our communities come together and find ways to support each other we can create change that helps break the cycle of child abuse!
If you know or suspect a child is being abused, call Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. Call or text 1.800.4.A.CHILD (1.800.422.4453). Professional crisis counselors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in over 170 languages. All calls are confidential. The hotline offers crisis intervention, information, and referrals to thousands of emergency, social service, and support resources.
Exym is a behavioral health EHR that serves social service agencies who are helping to break the cycle of child abuse.